Peculiar Trials. THE position that my husband has so long occupied in the cause and work of God has been one of peculiar trials. His adaptation to business and his clear foresight have led his ministering brethren to drop responsibilities upon him which they should have borne themselves. This has made his burdens very great. And while his brethren have not taken their share of the burdens, they have lost a valuable experience which it was their privilege to have obtained had they exercised their minds in the direction of caretaking, in seeing and feeling what must be done for the upbuilding of the cause.
Great trials have been brought upon my husband by his ministering brethren not standing by him when he most needed their help. The disappointment he has repeatedly felt when those whom he depended upon failed him in times of greatest need has nearly destroyed his power to hope and believe in the constancy of his ministering brethren. His spirits have been so wounded, he has felt that he was justified in being grieved, and he has allowed his mind to dwell upon discouragements. This channel of darkness God would have him close; for he is in danger of making shipwreck here. When his mind becomes depressed, it is natural for him to bring up the past and dwell upon his past sufferings, and unreconciliation takes hold upon his spirits, that God had suffered him to be so beset with trials unnecessarily brought upon him.
The Spirit of God has been grieved that he has not fully committed his ways to God, and trusted himself entirely in his hands, not allowing his mind to run in the channel of doubt and unbelief in regard to the integrity of his brethren. In talking doubts and discouragements he has not remedied the evil, but he has weakened his own powers, and given Satan advantage to annoy and distress him.
My husband has erred in talking out his discouragements and dwelling upon the unpleasant features of his experience. In thus talking, he scatters darkness but not light. He has at times laid a weight of discouragement upon his brethren, which did not bring to him the least help, but only weakened their hands. My husband should make it a rule not to talk unbelief or discouragement, or dwell upon his grievances. His brethren generally have loved and pitied him, and have excused this in him, knowing the pressure of care and his devotion to the cause of God.
My husband has labored untiringly to bring up the publishing interests to its present state of prosperity. I saw that he had had more sympathy and love from his brethren than he has thought he had. They eagerly search the paper to find something from his pen. If there is a tone of cheerfulness in his writing, he speaking encouragingly, their hearts are lightened, and some even weep with tender feelings of joy. But if gloom and sadness are expressed in his writings, the countenances of his brethren and sisters, as they read, grow sad, and the spirit which characterizes his writing is reflected upon them.
The Lord is seeking to teach my husband to have a spirit of forgiveness, and forgetfulness of the dark passages in his experience. The remembrance of the unpleasant past only saddens the present and he lives over again the unpleasant portion of his life's history. In so doing, he is clinging to the darkness and is pressing the thorn deeper into his spirit. This is my husband's infirmity, and it is displeasing to God. This brings darkness and not light. He may feel apparent relief for the time in expressing his feelings, but it is only making more acute a sense of how great his sufferings and trials have been, until the whole becomes magnified in his imagination, and the errors of his brethren, who have aided in bringing these trials upon him, look so grievous that their wrongs seem to him past endurance.
My husband has cherished this darkness so long by living over the unhappy past that he has but little power to control his mind when dwelling upon these things. Circumstances and events which once he would not have minded, magnify before him into grievous wrongs on the part of his brethren. He has become so sensitive to the wrongs under which he has suffered that it is necessary that he should be as little as possible in the vicinity of Battle Creek, where many of the unpleasant circumstances occurred. God would heal his wounded spirit if he will let him. But in doing this, he will have to bury the past. He should not talk of it, or write of it.
It is positively displeasing to God for my husband to recount his difficulties and his peculiar grievances of the past. If he had looked upon these things in the light that they were not done to him, but to the Lord, whose instrument he is, then he would have received a great reward. My husband has taken these murmurings of his brethren as though done to himself, and he has felt called upon to make all understand the wrong and wickedness of thus complaining of him, when he did not deserve their censure and abuse.
Had my husband felt that he could leave this matter all with the Lord, and that their murmurings and their neglect were against the Master instead of the servant in the Master's service, he would not have felt so aggrieved, and it would not have hurt him. He should have left it with the Lord, whose servant he is, to fight his battles for him and vindicate his cause. He would then have received a precious reward finally for all his sufferings for Christ's sake.
I saw that my husband should not dwell upon the painful facts in our experience. Neither should he write his grievances, but keep as far from them as he can. The Lord will heal the wounds of the past if he will turn his attention away from them. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." When confessions are made by his brethren who have been wrong he should accept the confessions and generously, nobly, seek to encourage the one who has been deceived by the enemy. My husband should cultivate a forgiving spirit. He should not dwell upon the mistakes and errors of others, for in doing this he not only weakens his own soul, but he tortures the minds of his brethren who have erred, when they may have done all that they can do by confessions to correct their past errors. If God sees it necessary that any portion of their past course should be presented before them, that they may understand how to shun errors in future, he will do this work; but my husband should not trust himself to do it, for it awakens past scenes of suffering that the Lord would have him forget.